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Landlord ordered to pay over £4,700 for placing ‘tenants at risk of harm’

A landlord has been ordered to pay more than £4,700 by Blackburn magistrates after failing to make improvements to his property.

Despite receiving a legal ‘improvement notice’ from Blackburn with Darwen Council, the landlord, Paul Clark, refused to get the necessary renovations and repairs done to remove hazards from the tenanted two-bedroom house on Redlam street, BB2, leaving the local authority with little alternative but to take further action.

Earlier this month, Blackburn magistrates were told that the work needed included general repairs, providing heating in the bathroom, remedying penetrating dampness, replacing glazing to boarded up windows and the back door, and repairing the electric shower.

The repairs had been outstanding since the tenant moved in but the landlord refused to carry out any of the necessary work, which also included installing a carbon monoxide detector and smoke detectors.

After hearing the evidence, the magistrates found Clark, of 19 York St, Church, guilty in his absence of ‘failure to comply with an Improvement Notice under Sections 11 and 12 of Housing Act 2004’.

The 58-year-old was ordered to pay a total of £4,753 in penalties and costs.

The magistrates fined Clark £2,000 and ordered him to pay costs of £2,583 and a victim surcharge of £170.

Cllr Peter Cooke, service lead for strategic housing at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said that the council is determined to ensure that tenants are protected by cracking down on “the minority of rogue landlords” operating in the local area.

He commented: “We take these prosecution cases very seriously, especially when they involve putting tenants at risk due to serious disrepair, hazards and substandard management practices.

“These fines serve as a significant punishment and shows that it is not cheaper to offend than comply with basic legal requirements.

“This council will continue to crack down on the minority of rogue landlords who shirk their legal responsibilities and place tenants at risk of harm.”

“We want the council to ensure that rented properties across the borough are kept up to standard by their landlords,” he added. “This should not just be in selective licensing areas.”

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